Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Of Piano & Perception

Nothing ever seems as amazing to me as the simple experience of finding a new perception that shows a fundamental fact in an entirely brand new light.

Today a woman came to my home at noon to talk to me about a weight loss program that she could put together for me. The two note worthy items from her visit were A) Her Plan: Come to strength and cardio classes 5 days a week, visit once a week with a weight loss coach (discuss goals previous week and next, etc.), and have bi-monthly pseudo-counseling sessions with her while we walk, and B) Telling the woman my story brought up some very positive thoughts and feelings.

Item A - I was not overwhelmed with her pitch, but anything is better than the nothing I've been doing. I did go to a class tonight to try it out and ended up spending 45 minutes working out which was, at the very least, 45 minutes more working out then I've done in months. The class I was in consisted of about 25 people, 23 of which were woman ranging from 16-70 years old and from 100-400 pounds. The two men were a large and surly 67 year old man, and an "America’s kids are ballooning up - story at 10" looking 12 year old boy. I don't know what’s better regarding gym/work-out scenarios: being the token fat guy to a bunch of hard-bodies looking to score with the chicks with the fake racks, or being the biggest monster on the Island of Misfit Toys. Regardless, it was a great work out. I kicked my ass.

Item B - I was honest from the get go with the woman today which was great, especially since I have a lot of issues with opposite traits that negatively affect my weight: hiding, lying, denial, isolating, etc. The best thing about talking with her thought was that it gave me a chance to go over a lot of my recent past and analyze it a bit. The reason that was so good was because it (along with an assist to the similar conversation I had with a friend last night) made me think a lot about how I felt when I was in out-patient treatment for 3 months this past spring (for weight, and other issues). And explaining to this woman today all the positive things I learned at treatment I soon began feeling that confidence in my ability to ACT on those things that I had eventually felt daily during treatment – that was tremendous.

So, while the work-out was valuable, the feelings and confidence that I got in touch with during the chat with the woman I feel were more valuable. However, even more valuable still was that I believe those feelings primed me for this simplistic, but powerful, thought process I had this afternoon - I thought about how I've played piano more consistently for the last few months than I have in years, and how I've been learning and refining dozens of new songs. I thought about how it’s amazing that I've been able to learn so many songs, and that I am remembering them (because I play by ear, I have no sheet music to refer to), and even improving them. Anyway, the reason for that is that I am being mindful and aware and consciously remembering that I want to play, and consciously remembering the songs and how I want to play them to maximize my enjoyment and ability.

Beautiful, I was able to use my fresh perspective on my piano playing to help remind me in an exciting and "brand new" way the fundamental fact that I have the skills to lose weight and make all the changes I want, I just have to work on being conscious and aware in order to put them in action.

Bonus Points: I’m starting to feel like, if I keep thinking about the piano analogy, I’m going to associate playing piano with the things I need to do to lose weight and my intrinsic desire to do them.

Piano, to paraphrase Ben Folds: I have you to thank for this.


  1. Wow. That was really a thoughtful post! How did today go??

  2. Sounds like this might work for you!! Good luck.